Many years ago, after watching the 1984 science fiction classic “The Terminator”, there was a Russian child who decided one day he would build his very own Terminator. Now, more than 30 years later, that once child, now adult unveiled his new T-800 to the world, equipped with a brain that allows it to speak for itself and answer questions. He named it John Henry.
Any big fan of the television series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” is familiar with the name John Henry. It was a given name to a fictional artificial intelligence that eventually utilized a dead Terminator to act as its voice and physical body. But this isn’t fiction anymore.
In 2009, Russian programmer Alexander Osipovich began working on a program that could act as a brain for his T-800. In 2011, after a lot of hard work, Alexander felt the brain was far enough along to begin building an endoskeleton body for it.
Many years later, using 3D printing technology, Alexander created all the endoskeleton parts out of plastic, and has nearly completed its assembly. While he has yet to overcome what is necessary to power its limbs, his self made Terminator, for now, remains confined to a wheelchair.
The most impressive aspect of Alexander’s T-800 is the brain. The T-800’s artificial intelligence allows it to recognize verbal commands, speak, have conversations, and even answer questions after searching for the answers on the internet. And like the movies, this T-800 is a learning computer. Everything new that the T-800 learns, it gets added to its knowledge base.
No longer just science fiction, it appears that one day a real John Henry will someday exist among us. It’s up to humanity to decide, if that will be a good thing.
We’ll be back.